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NEWS | Jan. 31, 2024

Governor Youngkin commends Virginia National Guard

By Cotton Puryear | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin commended the Virginia National Guard for the organization's service to commonwealth and country at a reception Jan. 17, 2024, hosted by the Virginia National Guard Association in Richmond, Virginia. “I am in awe of what you do,” Youngkin said. “I can only express one basic sentiment on behalf of 8.7 million Virginians, and that is one of deep gratitude. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for loving our Commonwealth of Virginia. Thank you for standing up for the freedoms and liberties we enjoy, and thank you and your families for the sacrifices you make on behalf of all of us.” He also thanked the members of the Virginia General Assembly present at the reception for all their work in support of Virginia’s military and veterans. Youngkin recognized how extraordinarily busy the Virginia National Guard has been over the last year. “It follows an unprecedented deployment pace that was a reflection of the commitment and professionalism the VNG exhibits,” he said. After a historic pace of mobilizations came to an end in 2022, Soldiers from multiple units received the Governor’s National Service Medal in recognition for the federal active duty service in early 2023. Ceremonies in January recognized troops providing unmanned aircraft system support on the Southwest Border and a security force for Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. In February, Soldiers were recognized for aviation operations for the peace support mission in Kosovo. In March, engineers received the medals to recognize their support to U.S. Central Command’s Operation Spartan Shield in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and Soldiers were also recognized for serving as the mission command headquarters for NATO Kosovo Force Regional Command-East. Read more about the GNSM presentations at Since September 11, 2001, more than 18,500 VNG Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized across the globe and here in the United States for homeland security missions. “We see first hand how all of you play such an extraordinarily important role not just in the activities around Virginia, but also in protecting our national interests around the world,” Youngkin said. He reflected on the opportunity he and the First Lady of Virginia had to welcome families of deployed Soldiers into the Virginia Executive Mansion in December 2022. “I am constantly reminded that while brave men and women serve overseas, it is their families who serve as well,” he said. Read more about the VNG’s busy year in 2023 at Prior to the reception, Lt. Gen. J. Dan Caine, the Associate Director for Military Affairs for the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke during a leader development event hosted by Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the Adjutant General of Virginia.

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